The Welcome and Orientation and Change at Scale: Research, Social Determinants and Interoperability Converge and the VA presentation described how large-scale data interoperability can be implemented at a systems level and examined the potential (and actual) benefits and challenges. The discussion focused on the U.S. Veterans Administration, where research by Stanford University scholars – along with policy developmentment and practice implementation – are coming together to engrain cross-program data sharing and collaboration into a huge federal agency that impacts about 10 million people annually.
Included in the discussion was specific examples of how ongoing, advanced research and development work is being used to ensure health equity within the VA’s suicide and overdose prevention efforts; as well as how health systems with more-limited resources can undertake similar initiatives. The lead presenter is Kshemendra Paul, who directs this massive effort and who previously was Program Manager of the groundbreaking federal Information Sharing Environment (the mission of which was to improve data sharing among federal agencies following 9/11). Other presenters included Daniel Stein and Suzanne Tamang.